We’d been there for hours and the room was crowded and I could feel the strength of my resolve slipping through my fingers. I could see the people around me but their outlines were blurred and they moved so fast . It was impossible to keep up. To take it all in. I couldn’t do it. Too tired. Too scared. And then they were pushing up the bars with a BANG and rubber soles were hitting the floor with squeaks. And blurry faces were covered with masks and words were being thrown over my head and everything started to slip away. And that was the longest silence I ever heard.
As the beep beep beeps of my son’s little heart began to die away.
And only silence followed.
In the time where his heart should have filled the room, there was only silence.
And in the space where my heart should have been there was only silence. A black hole. A void. Gone. He was gone, I was sure.
And so the silence went on. Words were crowding around my head, forcing their way up into my throat and staying there. I was choking on the bitterness of them. I was retching at their taste. I wasn’t speaking them. I couldn’t. I was overtaken by the silence, frozen by the fear. As the feet rushed around me and the hands moved my body. As the mask was placed onto my face and the theatre doors were swinging behind me. As the chill of the room overtook my body and the tears were rolling down my face…
The longest silence I ever heard.
And then, my son was born. They pressed a knife into my skin and he was alive. He was taken from my body and air was forced into his lungs. He was brought back from the silence, and he waited while I slept.
And this was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life.They tell you that the day your child is born is amazing. wonderful, exhilarating. So surely something is wrong with me, with the women for whom this day is anything but. Surely something is wrong with looking back on this day with dread. Utter dread. Cold, gnawing and pitiful dread. Surely something is wrong with wanting to run away from the memories, yet needing to replay them over and over and over again.
It isn’t always perfect. Plans don’t always unfold just how you imagined them. Sometimes, things go wrong. Sometimes the trust you placed in the people who care for you is simply misplaced. Sometimes the day your baby is born is the day a part of you withers and crumbles.
And sometimes it the silence that brings it all back. And that is how it is, for some women. The longest silence. Screaming silence.
I’d love your support in the 2016 blogging awards. Being nominated is a wonderful way to raise awareness of issues that matter, and with your support I can help give a voice to families who have suffered a traumatic birth. This will lead to better understanding for health care professionals when it comes to helping and supporting women and families. It will also lead to better understanding for us all, so that women like me can access support without judgement. Thank you!
Please click the links below to nominate me in the following categories: Inspire, Writer, Reader’s Choice, Best baby, Best Writer.